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Last year, fitness fiends all over LA helped us find our city's Hottest Trainer. While there were tons of ridiculously hot, ridiculously fit contenders, Katie Johnson of Physique 57 slayed the competition with an impressive amount of votes.
If you've been wondering what "Killer Katie" has been up to since scoring the crown, she's teamed up with her pal Caroline Gogolak to launch Carbon38: a high-end health and fitness platform that caters to super-stylish gym rats. To kick off today's official launch, we sat down with Johnson to learn about the site's rad features.
How has your life changed since being named LA's Hottest Trainer?
"It's been great! I still can't get over the outpouring of support from my clients on both coasts for that week of voting! The community at Physique 57 has always had an impact on me, in and out of the studio. Watching them grow stronger, reach goals, break through plateaus and leave class drained and happy from giving it their all makes my job truly fulfilling and one for which I can't wait to get out of bed for at 5am. To see tangible evidence, in the form of votes, that I have a similar effect on my clients is just an incredible feeling."
Has it helped both your work and dating life?
"Yep! Classes are full and so is my dance card!"
How did you and your business partner meet?
"Caroline and I met as ballet dancers at the Miami City Ballet. We then reconnected in Adams dining hall at Harvard, where we both went for undergrad. When I moved to LA last year, Caroline called me and said, 'let's start a business.' I was all for it. I don't think I've ever spent so much time with another human being before in my life. It's great."
What inspired you to create Carbon38?
"Over the last year, we wrestled with the idea of giving fitness a makeover and elevating it to the level of high fashion. We went to the Women 2.0 Startup Weekend in SF last November to immerse ourselves in the startup community. Startup Weekends are 54-hour events where developers, designer, marketers, product managers and startup enthusiasts come together to share ideas, form teams, build products and launch startups. Eventually we honed in on the idea of creating a Net-A-Porter of Fitness, where you can shop the best fitness wear, juice cleanses, supplements and workouts all curated by celebrities, editors, socialites and trainers. It's like taking a cross-section of what beautiful, healthy women really do to stay beautiful and healthy, and then letting you shop it!"
What's the story behind the site's name?
"Add up all the carbon atoms in all the humans on Earth and you get 10 to the 38th power. That's the science geek in me speaking. The url was on sale for a $1.99 for the first year on GoDaddy.com so we thought that to be a prudent first investment and the name stuck!"
How do the sales work on Carbon38?
"We offer a weekly selection of specific brands and carry very limited quantities of highly curated products. For instance, in the photo above we're both wearing MICHI, which is the first brand we're selling. I'm wearing the Abyss Long-Sleeved Top and Medusa Pant and Caroline is wearing the Lure Long-Sleeved Top and Illusion Pant. Each sale lasts a week or until we run out of merchandise, so buy early and often to make sure you don't miss out!"
Besides sales, what feature are you most excited about on the site?
"Our tastemakers! We are truly taking an authentic cross-section of the high-end fitness market by profiling individuals who seamlessly integrate fitness into a luxurious lifestyle. You can then see the products we offer within the context of these stylish ladies' lives. Women learn best by example. By providing the example and a dynamic market place we are giving users a kind of unprecedented access to a holistic approach to fitness."
Do you have any notable tastemakers onboard?
"For our first sale, we are featuring Allyssa Bross, principal dancer with the Los Angeles Ballet. We are so excited to be launching with Allyssa as our first tastemaker as it takes us back to our ballet roots! She is taking this city by storm and really helping put the LA Ballet on the map. We do have quite a few other notables coming up, so stay tuned!"
Who are your dream Carbon38 tastemakers?
"How many can I list? To start: Gabrielle Reese, Marissa Mayer, Jennifer Aniston, Charlize Theron, Petra Nemcova and Hilary Rhoda."
When you're not working out, where do you two like to shop and eat in LA?
"Caroline and I love Kimberly Snyder's Glow BIO. We are big fans of Glowing Green Smoothie! Kreation is right down the street from our office so you often can find us grabbing an almond milk post-workout, pre-conference call. M Café's kale salad and macro plate make it in our lunch bags weekly. And on cheat days (and stressful days) the brownie sundae at Beverly Grill is definitely on the menu, so is Angelini Osteria's green lasagna. For shopping, we love Kitson; from candles to leggings to self-help books to cocktail dresses, they have it covered. We also love Lululemon and Madison on Melrose."
Last but not least, are you still going to continue working at Physique57?
"Yes! I will never stop teaching. I love it too much."
· Carbon38 [Official Site]
· Hottest Trainer Contestant #9: Katie Johnson [Racked]
· Katie Johnson of Physique 57 is LA's Hottest Trainer 2012 [Racked]
· Glow Bio's Kimberly Snyder Loves LF, Can Do Without Honeydew [Racked]